On Time: The Biennial Conference of the Finnish Anthropological Society August 29-30, 2019 Helsinki, Finland

On Time: The Biennial Conference of the Finnish Anthropological Society

August 29-30, 2019

Helsinki, Finland


Call for papers for a panel on reproductive mobilities.

Panel title: “Unfinished” – time and desire in reproductive mobilities and trajectories

This panel draws on the anthropology of becoming (Biehl and Locke 2017) to consider the qualities of unfinishedness, the unknown, time, space, and desire as they relate to formations of reproduction in contemporary life. On the one hand, time is delineated in biological measurements and discourses, such as gestation, carrying babies “to term,” “the right time” to be or become parents, “timing” and “spacing” children, and fertility “cycles.” On the other hand, time is abstracted in the forward-looking-ness of reproduction, captured in the concept of reproductive futurism. Within the growing body of scholarship on reproductive cross-border care, fertility tourism, commercial surrogacy, birth tourism, abortion travel, migrant and transnational motherhood, international adoption—that is, reproductive mobilities—the emphasis has tended to be on geographical movement or the (finished) outcome of the reproductive pursuit. We are interested instead in the “unfinished business” of reproduction in the context of mobilities/immobilities, which an emphasis on time and becoming potentially opens up. By considering an anthropology of becoming that “makes space for unfinishedness, and bodies, powers, and things [that] do not remain frozen in place” (Biehl and Locke 2017: 6), we hope that papers in this panel will address time and trajectories of reproduction as related to subjectivity and as affective, material, and always incomplete.

We are most interested in ethnographically grounded analyses and/or theoretical or methodological inquiries of reproductive mobilities through an anthropology of becoming that draws on queer, feminist, affect, or ontological theories, critical mobilities theory, and/or decolonizing approaches. Possible topics include but are not in any way limited to: becoming-ness of bodies, persons, and technologies in assisted reproduction arrangements, anticipation of reproduction and infertility, the felt time of waiting (for donors, for pregnancy), the enactment of temporal models of reproduction, affective registers of desire in cross-border reproductive care and/or reproductive decision-making,“becoming” pregnant in temporal context beyond gestation period, unexpected outcomes in reproduction research.

Panel organisers:

Susan Frohlick and Kelsey Marr, Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Okanagan Syilx Nation Territory, Kelowna, BC, Canada

Paper proposals must be submitted through the conference organizers by March 31, 2019. The conference email address is: timeFAS2019@gmail.com

In your proposal please include the following information: name, affiliation, contact information, title of paper, and an abstract no longer than 250 words, and the name of this panel, “Unfinished” time and desire in reproductive mobilities and trajectories.”

If you have any questions about the panel, please send them to sue.frohlick@ubc.ca